UX Continuing Education

24 Aug 2012 - 9:36am
3 years ago
3 replies
2789 reads
Brett Christenson

Beyond reading articles or blogs targeted around UX, what resources do you use to stay relevant or increase your UX understanding/skills? I have been looking in to some conferences (some look better than others) but I was wondering if anyone has found any online courses or something similar. My thought is that something online would allow easier access and if it was structured like a courses I could have some exercises or other methods to reinforce UX topics. I am looking to become a stronger and more efficient UX designer without having to go back to school full time.


24 Aug 2012 - 10:15am
Dave Malouf

So there's a few things here to talk about:


There are many conferences to attend. Obviously IxDA's own is special on this list (there are also a limited few regional IxDA conferences and IxDA partnered conferences), but there are so many amazing ones to choose from depending on where you are geographically, what niche you need to work on now, etc. etc. Then there are factors of cost and time availability.

One thing though you can do now for free is catch the videos offered by many conferences. For example there are 3 years worth Interaction conference videos at http://ixda.org/resources.


Local schools often offer courses that can be very useful for the interaction designer, especially if they are trying to pick up their coding and technical skills. There are a few online or hybrid HCI masters degree programs out there including Iowa State and Depaul in the US. Recently Stanford added this to their collection on Coursera: https://www.coursera.org/course/hci

There are coruses for learning to program from Code Academy and Khan Academy just put out a computer science class that looks really good.

We do need to acknowledge this issue though b/c our ecoystem for teaching these topics are fairly limited.

-- dave

24 Aug 2012 - 3:53pm
Fred Beecher


Honestly? Reading blogs and articles is a GREAT way to keep up to date with what's going on in UX! Our field is constantly evolving, and it is the rare educational program that keeps pace. Even conferences struggle to do so (although I will say that the IxDA conference is always ahead of the curve). Blogs and articles keep me absolutely current with what all you smart people are doing.

Often the problem is how to get to them. There are a few good UX-focused blogs, but lots of great content is being written on company blogs and on designers' individual blogs. The best source I've found is to follow people I respect on Twitter. Articles find their way to me through people I trust, helping me make sure I'm aware of the great thinking out there without forcing me to read through the ho-hum.

When I find something I like, I stick it in a publicly shared Evernote notebook. It's kinda like a version of UX Delicious but where I don't have to worry about links going away. You're more than welcome to check out this notebook yourself or even link it to your account:


I hope this helps!



31 Aug 2012 - 12:13pm

Hey Brett,

If you don't know about Cooper U, you might want to check it out. We've been training professionals in design for 10 years (consulting worldwide for 20). Sometimes our courses travel (ie: our UX Boot Camp and our Interaction Design training), keep an eye out to see if one pops up in your area. More here, and best of luck! http://www.cooper.com/training/

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